German Parliament speaker criticizes Erdogan over immunity

The speaker of Germany's Parliament is criticizing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over a push to strip legislators in Turkey of their immunity from prosecution.

Norbert Lammert was quoted in daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily Thursday as accusing Erdogan of "autocratic ambitions." He added that the development continues "a whole series of events with which Turkey is getting farther and farther away from our standards of democracy."

On Tuesday, a majority in Turkey's parliament backed a government-backed constitutional amendment that would strip some legislators of immunity. A second ballot due Friday will determine whether it is approved, goes to a referendum or is defeated. Critics say it primarily targets pro-Kurdish legislators.

Lammert is a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's party. Merkel has worked closely with Turkey to reduce Europe's migrant influx.